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The Bridge is alright!

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Syd Vega, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Syd Vega

    Syd Vega Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    44
    40
    Mar 4, 2017
    Germany
    Hi all,
    in many, many threads about Strats I read that players never use the bridge pu or change it for a humbucker immediately when they get a Strat.
    I'm still relatiely new to the world of Strats (Les Paul to Tele to Strat) and own a '14 American Standard with the Fat50s.
    The Tone is wired to the bridge pu and I have to say, that is clearly a must.
    But with that I can get absolutely great, rocking sounds out of the bridge pickup, no need for any changes.
    So, what's wrong with a Strat's bridge pu?
     
  2. nadzab

    nadzab So many guitars, so little time... Strat-Talk Supporter

    I think there's a bit of internet myth-making involved in the idea that the bridge pickup is useless. Particularly with the tone control wired in, I find the bridge pickup indispensable...I probably use it more than the neck pickup.
     
  3. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    The EU
    Oh, the bridge pickup only gets usable with the right tone wood, provided the wood can breathe properly through a thin nitro finish :whistling:

    I agree, nothing wrong with a Strat bridge. Mine gets me further into Tele territory than I had bargained for :)
     
  4. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    48
    Nov 28, 2016
    ZA
    Same here , also wired to tone control
     
    Nate D and TangerineDog like this.
  5. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    `
    I never really used the Strat bridge pickup on its own much, until I discovered a trick where a booster pedal is employed to push the front end of a decent tube amp.

    I have an Xotic EP Booster and when I kick it in (with my Strat set to the bridge pickup position) I'm greeted with a bold and powerful, but clear and articulate "to-die-for" tone that is responsive, full and lively - far removed from the thin and spiky tone so many people assume the Strat bridge pickup is only capable of producing.

    Plus, the darker and fuller the amp, the more useful the Strat bridge pickup becomes...


    `
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
    Andrew Wasson and Tim S like this.
  6. Tydrera

    Tydrera Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    20
    35
    Jul 7, 2018
    Belgrade
    That was actually one of the nicest surprises my strat gave me back when I got it. The bridge pickup was actually so good.

    I don't really get why people would bash on any pickup position on any guitar? I would think they all have their uses and can all sound great, specially if you have the amp/pedals to back it up..

    I find the bridge to be irreplaceable for my heavy power chordy playing with a lot of distortion, even though I don't play like that often it's really nice to hear it, I would actually even say I prefer it to some bridge humbuckers in LP's which are generally used for that kind of stuff, it sounds better to me. Also some lead parts on clean sound so great on the bridge pickup, and some funky stuff too. Also it provides position 2 so.. I call bull****, the bridge is great.
     
    T Guitar Floyd and AxemanVR like this.
  7. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    There's nothing wrong with the bridge pickup, it's how you can get somewhat Telecaster-ish sounds from your Strat when you want to.
     
    Groovey likes this.
  8. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Strat-Talker

    463
    Oct 16, 2018
    Tacoma in two weeks
    I use the Bridge for just about everything. Either by itself or with the middle pickup. Get some nice hum canceling and some great quack in the 2 and 4 positions.
     
    T Guitar Floyd likes this.
  9. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    46
    Aug 7, 2009
    austin texas
    I love the bridge pickup sound of a Strat.I play Blues and old school style Rock n Roll so it a very usable tone for those styles of music where you are using low gain or medium overdrive tones.It becomes problematic when using modern high gain distortion because the tone gets really bright and shrill and the hum is really loud and buzzy.But in 1954 those heavy distorted tones didn't exist so the bridge pickup of a Strat sounded very musical through a clean or slightly overdriven tweed amp which is what it was designed around EQ wise.Of course I also love the tone of my Teles,Les Pauls standards and junior and SGs where their beefier and fuller tone works best for certain songs.But some tunes I play actually sound great on a Strat bridge pickup.Another thing to consider is how players like SRV and Hendrix were always navigating back and forth on the pickup switch.I will often move the switch to different positions within a song.Sometimes I play a lick on the neck pickup and bend the string on one note and quickly flick the switch to the bridge position to get that extra bite to make the lick stand out(SRV did that often).The switch position on a Strat is perfectly located to enable very rapid pickup switching.And wiring the tone control to the bridge pickup makes it more versatile too...dialing it back to 7 or 6 smooths out the treble and is almost like a 6th tone option on a Strat.
     
  10. TB883

    TB883 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    50
    166
    Apr 20, 2018
    UK
    I use the bridge with the neck pu an option I have on my deluxe. I call it the stratele sound
     
  11. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    The Strat bridge pickup is just a little weak & thin sounding when compared to the others. For some that's a problem, for others it isn't. Changing the pickup to something a little fatter & warmer is great for many people. Other options include... (I hope you're sitting down for this one...) using the middle pickup.

    It's probably the Strat's hidden secret as so many people admit they never use it on it's own. If you're one of them, try it. It might just surprise you. And it's free. ;)
     
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  12. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Jimmie Vaughan did this a lot, back in the heyday of The Fabulous Thunderbirds. No doubt little bro Stevie copied this from him, as he did with so many things. But since you're from Austin, you probably knew this. ;)

    And they probably both nicked it from Buddy Guy.
     
  13. Syd Vega

    Syd Vega Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    44
    40
    Mar 4, 2017
    Germany
    I totally fall into that category on my journey with Strats.
    First, I stayed most of the time on the neck pu. Then, neck and bridge/middle for clean stuff. Next, I learned to handle the bridge pu with the tone control. Around that time, neck/middle became very useful to my ears as well.
    Poor middle alone must feel left out!
    Gonna give it a try from time to time now.
     
    stratman323 likes this.
  14. Bighump

    Bighump Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    39
    95
    Aug 1, 2017
    Louisiana
    What i love to do with my bridge PU is roll the tone all the way back and turn the gain way up. Gets me sounding just like early Sabbath. Try it and tell me I'm wrong.
     
    Tim S likes this.
  15. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    How the bridge pickup sounds depends on your amp, vintage Fender amps work best, because that's what they were designed to be used with .
     
  16. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Ad space available Strat-Talk Supporter

    Meh, I have very little use for a vintage wound bridge pickup by itself, position 2 or combined with the neck pickup different story.
     
  17. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 13, 2014
    Canada
    I use my bridge pu a lot but only for solos. But Lace Sensors and an EC are a bot of a different beast IMHO.
     
  18. shovelmike

    shovelmike Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 26, 2013
    Missouri
    Good lyrics: The bridge is alright, the nut is alright, they just seem a little bit weird.
    Seriously though, indeed wiring the tone knob to the bridge makes a big difference.
    Being a non-conformist, I highly prefer a humbucker in the bridge position.
     
  19. stratomatt

    stratomatt Strat-Talker

    317
    Sep 23, 2010
    San Diego
    This post is very timely to me. Just the other night I was playing and kept loving my bridge sound. I have a master tone and a series parellel blend knob. I find that most often I prefer not using the blender. The master tone does come in handy though.
     
  20. SachaPlusDeluxe

    SachaPlusDeluxe Strat-Talker

    I do prefer a humbucker in the bridge and have so in many of my Starts BUT I don't want to change out the PUP in my Custom Shop 55. AS such I raised the little begger as close as I could to the strings without getting the warble effect. Now, when I kick in the bridge for solos, it pushes the amp that bit harder than the middle and neck which are set up low. Result?? Nice controlled feedback and a nice cutting lead tone which doesn't sound thin and shreiky :)
     
  21. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 25, 2011
    Brazil
    Another master of this 'technique' is Ritchie Blackmore, at times to the point of exageration, but I really like his playing.
     
    sonny wolf likes this.